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Antique Art Nouveau Uncas Sterling Marcasite Rose Ring

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Art Nouveau: Pre 1930   item# 730488

Antique Art Nouveau Uncas Sterling Marcasite Rose Ring
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

If you don't mind being noticed (and envied), this large and spectacular antique ring is meant for you. It's a knuckle-covering 1 1/4 inches tall and 3/4 of an inch wide at leaf level.

The floral motif, as you see, is absolutely enchanting. Marcasite "dewdrops" nestle among the rose petals and their shape is echoed by round embossing on the leaves. Edges and shoulders are lovingly detailed, as well. Naturally this was the creation of a master, namely Vincent Sorrentino, an Italian immigrant who formed Uncas Manufacturing Company in Rhode Island in 1911. The turn of the twentieth century in America attracted many talented artisans and jewelers from Italy, who were instrumental in development of the American fine and costume jewelry industry.

Rivoli-cut marcasites normally smooth after this long, but here they're still sharply pointed for maximum dazzle. Overall condition of the ring is simply lovely: better than the first one of this type that we sold and as fine as the second and third, which were gone within days -- so, if it strikes your fancy, it would be smart not to delay.

The only difference between this and the others I've had is that the "U" (for Uncas) has an arrow through it, rather than an arrow on each side. That indicates it's a little younger, most likely dating from around the mid-20s, rather than pre-WWI. This design being so gorgeous, they probably made it for 10 or 15 years, until the Nouveau manner was considered totally passť. The company continued in business until the 1980s, using a plethora of different marks as time went on (like Stylecraft in the '30s, Stylerite, Glow-Lite and Jewels of Fashion in the '40s, Sorrento and Vincenzo in the '50s and '60s and Corsini in the '70s and '80s).

Present size is about a US 6 - 6.5, easily changed since the back of the shank is plain. From a New York estate, it's been polished somewhat more brightly than I'd have done, but inevitable tarnish will soon darken it again -- and perhaps you prefer a gleaming look, anyway.

Thanks for looking!



Large Art Nouveau Repousse Filigree Heart Pin Pendant

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Art Nouveau: Pre 1910   item# 727477

Large Art Nouveau Repousse Filigree Heart Pin Pendant
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This exceptionally beautiful antique necklace pendant, also wearable as a brooch, was obviously hand-crafted. The wax around which the domed front with its intricate repousse details was formed remains in place (as with those fine silver hairbrushes and hand-mirrors of the same period); you can see it through the pretty pierced back. Heavily gilded, the jewel is in marvelous condition - showing the rich patina of age and only minor losses of finish (most on reverse). It measures about 2 1/4 inches by 2 inches, so is a highly impressive, can't-miss-it piece.

Dating is a bit uncertain, since the design says 1885-1900, but this type of safety clasp wasn't introduced until a little later. The pinstem appears to have been shortened (as was common for safety's sake) and the present clasp may have been added at that time. Whether this is Late Victorian or Edwardian, it's a true antique and a rare treasure. Provenance is a West Coast estate.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Glamorous Antique German Art Deco Brooch Earrings Set

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Deco: Pre 1940   item# 723174

Glamorous Antique German Art Deco Brooch Earrings Set
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Between the two world wars, Weimar Germany was a hotbed of creativity. Their museums led the world in showcasing modern art, their cabarets were the raciest and the Bauhaus blazed trails in architecture and industrial design. Of course Hitler soon spoiled the party, but those innovative times are remembered in jewelry like this.

Our remarkable German brooch and earrings set takes Art Deco style to extremes of inventiveness in terms of sculptural form, bold graphic patterning and even use of materials. The jewels are formed of aluminum! The gently cupped discs are brushed to a cool matte finish for the background, but polished to scintillating brightness where the stylized light rays appear -- and, in the center of each piece is a dome piled high with prismic diamond rhinestones.

The Deco era idolized speed -- fast cars and planes -- and aluminum evokes that spirit superbly. It also allows for jewels to be quite large without much weight at all. It further had the benefit of being inexpensive, which was vital in those years of hardship imposed by Germany's burden of World War I reparation payments. Their economy was in shambles long before the Depression hit elsewhere. Jewels such as these -- which, with only artistry and time, transformed simple aluminum and glass into dazzlers -- capture a great deal of poignant history.

Marked "Germany," they were clearly made for export to English-speaking markets that soon closed with Hitler's rise and conversion to a war economy. Since post-war products were designated as West or East German for many decades to come, the set can have been made only in the 1920s or early 1930s. The earring fasteners, being an experimental narrow form of clip, suggest a circa 1930 dating. Screw backs were typical of the 1920s and modern wide clips of the type we still see were introduced in 1934.

Still with every rhinestone sparkling and in lovely condition overall, the brooch measures 2 inches round and the earrings 1.5 inches round. The only flaw I see is that the brooch mechanism revolves around the rivet, which has created slight surface wear at the back. When pinned on, of course it wouldn't move around, but you might want your jeweler to tighten the fastener. Provenance of these beauties is an estate in the Great Lakes area.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail erinharris@comcast.net to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Sophisticated 1940s Retro Sweetheart Brooch with Sass

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Retro: Pre 1950   item# 722522

Sophisticated 1940s Retro Sweetheart Brooch with Sass
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This fabulous World War II jewel wasn't for just anybody's sweetheart! It was for a gal who kept the home fires burning with swagger, sparkle and style -- as well as heart.

The iconic, pared-down silhouette of the early '40s didn't happen by accident, by the way; designers had to cope with the challenge of severe fabric shortages and did it brilliantly. Full skirts wouldn't be seen again, until after the war was over, when Rosie the Riveter morphed into Donna Reed. Another effect of the conflict on fashion was that it promoted wider use of sterling silver. Because most lesser metals were commandeered for military purposes, the lines between fine and costume jewelry blurred.

It's exciting to see a jewel that captures as much history as this one. We can feel sure it's authentically of the period, due to the presence of age-appropriate wear: the fine pattern of surface scratches that adds rich depths to silver's sheen. In other respects, the brooch is like new, showing no dings or other damage. Measuring a bold 2.75 by 2 inches wide and hallmarked 925, it has a very nice heft, as you can imagine. It will make a truly impressive Power Jewel, when worn with your best suits today.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



Historically Important Czech Cameo Necklace c 1919

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Pre 1920   item# 721675

Historically Important Czech Cameo Necklace c 1919
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

In terms of cameo history, here's the "missing link" between the type we think of as 19th century (despite including very early 20th century examples that continued the neoclassical or Art Nouveau style) and those that are decidedly 20th century, featuring the thoroughly modern, short-haired flapper girls of the 1920s and their successors.

Cameos of course mirror our changing standards of beauty and I've never before seen one that so perfectly illustrates the spirit of the transitional period between Edwardian and Art Deco design eras. We can date it quite precisely to that timeframe, because it's signed Czecho. This mark was used for just a few years after creation of the Czech Republic at the end of World War I. The region was previously known as Bohemia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The young lady pictured here presents an entirely new vision of elegance. Her hair, while on the long side, is quite a lot shorter than was seen before the war, during which large numbers of women worked for the first time in roles other than domestic service. Hairstyles thus had to become more practical. Her attire also isn't idealized; it's no toga or fairy-like wisp, but quite easily recognizable as an evening gown, accented by an orchid corsage. And her face is that of a real person -- not just pretty, but strong and poised. There are no frou-frous in the background, either. Capping off the design breakthrough of the cameo is that it appears to be of carved coral, complete with natural color variations, but is actually celluloid -- the latest thing!

The frame is also truly exceptional: refined and elaborately worked in the Edwardian manner, but larger and significantly bolder in form -- obviously experimental in the best sense, reflecting openness to new influences and impulses.

Both the cameo and setting are in gorgeous condition. Since celluloid is a notably delicate material, it's clear the jewel has been treated with utmost care (as it well deserves). Gilding remains extremely brilliant, even on the reverse and outer edges. When a chain is separate, not integral, we can't establish firmly that it's original; however, I believe this one is, based on its graceful, intricate structure and the extent of patina present.

In every aspect, this jewel is an absolute WOW. The framed cameo measures about 2 inches by 1.5 inches and the chain is 17.5 inches long. Provenance is a West Coast estate.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail erinharris@comcast.net to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Exquisite Antique Gilt and Celluloid Coral Bracelet

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 721540

Exquisite Antique Gilt and Celluloid Coral Bracelet
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $289.

(Free U.S. Priority Shipping
& Gift-Wrap if Desired) 

Besides being simply gorgeous, this antique bracelet is rare and fascinating, both for its composition and its miraculous condition. The three roses that look like carved angelskin coral are actually of a very early plastic -- most likely Zylonite (sometimes spelled Xylonite), a form of what we came to call celluloid. Technically all the variants are cellulose nitrate, a notably delicate substance, and yet these intricately formed flowers remain perfect after more than a century! The gilt brass metalwork -- stunningly engraved, adorned with applied foliate details and rich with time's patina -- is in superlative shape, too. This bracelet must not only have worn very little, but also stored with the utmost care.

Based on indications like the type of catch, the slightly oval shape and the Victorian style, this bracelet could have been made as early as the 1870s and almost certainly is no younger than the 1880s.

Its origin is most likely English, since the firm known to be producing this lovely faux-coral from around 1870 was the British Xylonite Company. They did have a licensee in Massachusetts, The American Zylonite Company, but only in the 1880s.

The only flaw I can find is that there was probably a safety chain, since two tiny triangular loops are positioned to hold one. The catch is quite secure, but you or your jeweler can easily add a bit of chain, if you want to.

Hinged, the bracelet opens wide and it's sized for an average wrist, up to about 7 inches. (If it weren't too big for me, I'd keep it.) Provenance is a West Coast estate.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail erinharris@comcast.net to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Fascinating German Art Deco Brooch and Earrings Set

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1930   item# 720774

Fascinating German Art Deco Brooch and Earrings Set
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $160. 

Here's a truly exciting antique demi-parure from "Cabaret"-era Germany. There's something marvelously wicked about roses in the colors of midnight moonlight, each holding a brilliant rhinestone dewdrop -- and there's something quite magical about the fact that they weigh no more than a breeze. They're of aluminum enameled in matte black, and the ornately stamped petal edges glitter with mock-marcasites.

This spectacular, highly dimensional set is a triumph of doing much with little, and you'll remember that extremely hard times befell Germany after World War I, due to the savage terms of the Versailles Treaty (which unfortunately contributed to Hitler's rise). Obviously, not much jewelry was made there in the Deco era -- or even in later Retro times, when materials were devoted to another war effort. Their rarity makes these pieces all the more special -- and there's extra poignance in the fact that they seem to have been worn very little, if at all, suggesting that the original owner didn't survive the next war (or at least had to leave them behind in the chaos). That they're marked "Made in Germany" means they can't possibly be post-WWII, when the country was divided into East and West, nor did Germany export to English-speaking markets after war broke out, so common sense and the Deco styling tie the set firmly to the 1920s or early 1930s.

Somehow it reached an estate in the Upper Midwest and from there came to us. The brooch is about 2 inches round and the earrings are about 1.25 inches round. Condition, as you see, is pristine. I love how perfectly these jewels evoke a brief but momentous period of European history and hope you will, too!

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail erinharris@comcast.net to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Beautiful Edwardian Garland Style Suffragette Earrings

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Edwardian: Pre 1920   item# 706982

Beautiful Edwardian Garland Style Suffragette Earrings
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

These are easily the loveliest Suffragette earrings we've ever had the opportunity to offer, featuring an airy openwork setting that screams Garland Style. This was essentially a fit of neo-classicism, thrown in reaction to the excesses of Art Nouveau. Cartier was the movement's first exemplar around 1900. It had only a brief heyday, unfortunately, since World War I changed the mood entirely (leading to the dominance of sleek, modernistic Art Deco forms).

Garland Style jewels have a refined and delicately lacy look, employing decorative elements used in the late 18th century (and, long before then, in real classical times). This half-wreath of precisely detailed leaves and tendrils is a pretty example -- the sort of pattern we see often as inlay in Georgian and later Edwardian furniture -- but here it takes on what was then a very modern touch: stones in Suffragette colors!

As you know if you collect Suffragette jewelry, the unusual combination of green, purple and white had deep meaning for early feminists. For them, green represented hope, purple signified dignity and white stood for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry applied, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote. All this seems cryptic now, but was clearly understood by everyone in an era when messages were also communicated by which flowers you sent, how you held your fan and which corner of a calling card you folded down, if any. The wealthiest suffragettes mixed amethysts and pearls or diamonds with green stones such as emeralds or peridots, but pretend gems were naturally favored by the majority.

In this case, we have faux jade of beautifully marbled early plastic (probably Galalith, invented in the 1890s) plus amethyst pastes and faux pearls. Everything remains in wonderful condition, including the gilding. It takes high magnification to notice any surface wear at all. That isn't unusual, since Suffragette jewels were worn only occasionally (most notably, when marching for the vote). To the Suffragettes' efforts through many decades in the U.K. and U.S., we modern women owe that right, which was finally extended to all American women in 1920 and to all in Great Britain in 1928.

Tucked away and forgotten for decades, Suffragette jewelry has been rapidly gaining value since the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find. We try our best to maintain a good selection, but demand keeps growing. If these earrings strike your fancy, you'd better not delay. They date from circa 1905 - 1915 and reached us from a San Francisco estate. The have screw fasteners right for the period and could have been made by an East Coast firm in America, although the quality of the stones suggests origin in Bohemia or France.

Thanks for looking!



1920s Art Deco Jeweled Suffragette Earrings

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1930   item# 706912

1920s Art Deco Jeweled Suffragette Earrings
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

When green, violet and white appear together on historic jewelry, this unusual color combination typically signifies that the piece was first owned by a member of the Suffragette movement -- for whom green represented hope, purple signified dignity and white stood for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry applied, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote. All this seems cryptic now, but was well understood by everyone in the days when messages were also communicated by which flowers you sent, how you held your fan and which corner of a calling card you folded down, if any.

To the Suffragettes' efforts through many decades in the U.K. and U.S., we modern women owe our right to vote. That right was finally extended to all American women in 1920 and to all in Great Britain in 1928. Thus, although most of the jewelry is Victorian, Edwardian or transitional, some dates from the Art Deco era.

These spectacular earrings were among the last examples, dating from the 1920s. By American 75-year standards, they're already antique, not just vintage. Richly embellished with faux pearls, amethysts and beautifully marbled jade(probably Czech), the earrings are highly dimensional and of excellent quality, with a nice heft. Each measures about 1 inch by 1 1/4 inches. The gilt metal features lattice-like detail and cutwork and its color is prettily patinated by age, not brassy. Based on dating, they were most likely made in England (although they could be American, produced in celebration of the Suffragettes' recent triumph here). Condition of the earrings is lovely and the original screw backs are present. Interestingly, we had this same design once before, but with lavender jades as the central stones and accents of emerald and pearl. It's beautiful, either way.

Suffragette jewelry has been rapidly gaining value since the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what those gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find. These reached us from an East Coast estate.

Thanks for looking!



Elegant Early BELAIS HWK 14k White Gold Cufflinks

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Gold: Edwardian: Pre 1910   item# 706882

Elegant Early BELAIS  HWK 14k White Gold Cufflinks
 click for details

GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Ideal for gentlemen who prefer simpler jewelry, here's a somewhat understated early Belais design from the Edwardian era. These are also ideal for gifting, since they're in lovely condition and have monogram plaques not yet initialed.

On all four octagonal faces, which measure half an inch in each direction and are slightly domed, an octagonal medallion with scalloped edges frames the central plaque and is filled in with subtle pinstripe and paisley engraving. Surrounding this are demi-lune shapes adorned with foliate forms and, alternately, stripes and stipples. Varying motifs also decorate the edges, shifting between millegrained stripes and stylized bright-cut patterns. It's a lot of intricate engraving, yet so minute and finely balanced that the overall effect is of quiet elegance. The connectors, too, are simple and graceful, not frou-frou. They're of the Edwardian type with one end that swivels, while the other remains fixed.

Besides the Belais 14k White Gold Front stamps, the cufflinks are signed HWK Co. and Talon Grip Trademark. The HWK Company was formed during 1905 in Providence, RI, a major jewelry center then. Their Talon Grip fasteners were highly esteemed and Belais white gold, of course, set the standard for excellence. HWK closed by the 1920s, but the Belais Brothers went on to dominate the white gold jewelry market until its collapse following the Crash of 1929.

With fashion's return to the elegance of French cuffs, antique cufflinks are flying off our shelves as fast as we can find them -- particularly those by Belais, because they're so highly collectible. These reached us from a Pennsylvania estate.

Thanks for looking!


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